“He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:17, KJV
Perhaps no man fell farther than the Apostle Peter. I mean, he denied Jesus three times, even after publically declaring his willingness to die for Him! After the third time denying Jesus, Luke records for us, “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.” (Luke 22:61, KJV)
What do you think that look was? Sadness? Anger? A desire for revenge? I don’t think any of these apply. I believe that Jesus looked upon Peter with love. You see, Jesus knew Peter would fail, yet He loved him anyway. Luke continues, “And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:61-62, KJV).
I bring all this up because I wish to honor a friend of mine. He is probably one of the most honest people I know. I have known him for years, having attended church with him, even having the privilege of ministering with him. And in a day when men of God are afraid to admit sins or failures, he is an example of humility. His name? Joe Dallas.
Joe has a blog over at joedallas.com. If you haven’t read his blog, you should. It is an encouragement to all who have failed. Joe is brutally honest about his struggles and failures. And to see how God has restored him is truly an encouragement to all who believe that their failures have disqualified them from being used once again.
Of course, Joe correctly credits Jesus Christ with drawing him back to Him and restoring him to Christian Service, even beyond where he was before he fell away. But that’s just how our God works. That’s one reason why grace is so amazing.
Jesus made an amazing statement to Peter, before he denied Him: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32, KJV)
Jesus prayed for Peter…and Joe…and you. And that is truly amazing…grace.
Think about it…